To call this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show memorable is understating things somewhat! Just being in September of course made it unique – the first time ever in its 100+ years it has not happened in May. So seeing the Autumn planting, turning leaves and berries was a new experience for Chelsea aficionados.
For Gaze Burvill the Show was not just autumnal, but truly triumphant! Our beautiful garden display, created by Ann-Marie Powell, won a 5-Star certificate, Best Trade Stand Award, and best of all, the RHS Director General Award – a rare prize!. In all, a hat trick, and heart-warming accolade, and a fitting tribute to Ann-Marie, her team of plants people, the Landform staff who built it in their usual careful, no-hassle way, and to the Gaze Burvill design and logistics teams who worked so hard to make it all happen in the three week window available before the show opened. Filled with Lobelia, hydrangea, dahlias, salvia, and much more, the garden was abuzz with lots of bees and butterflies busy at the last of the summer’s pollen.
The stand’s theme was two-tiered – front of stage was ‘Rural Refined’ – a smart kitchen with Sub Zero Wolf Grill, Dekton worktop, Wood-fired oven from Delivita and Hunza lights, was offset by a dramatic Broadwalk Oval Table with Broadwalk Seats and Benches. Then, a relaxed ‘in-the-round’ seating arrangement from Gaze Burvill’s new Curved Splash Lounge, with the new Splash Lounge Round Low Table provided wow factor, not to mention the setting for Monty Don to talk gardens with Alistair Campbell, and several other celebrity interviews. Deeper into the garden one entered ‘Hampshire Wild’, with Woodland Seats in twisted English Chestnut, and the new Woodland Table, planted ferns and the dusky dark pink of Hydrangea Anthony Blundell.
Even the floor was much admired – a handsome oak ‘catwalk’ divided the space, with oak boards for the ‘Hampshire Wild’ area, and the most exquisite Limestone from Artisans of Devizes, which seemed to provide the perfect ‘connector’ between oak tones and the vivid brights of the flowers. There is a nobility to this quality of limestone which certainly inspired us, but we also learnt why it is such a stalwart favourite of interior designers.
So many contributed to making the Show a success: Arthur Parkinson, florist extraordinaire and author, came to style our display armed with an astonishing array of flowers, berries and jewel vases from Sarah Raven’s garden at Perch Hill – his creations filled the tables with bursts of bright autumnal colour, and, for his beloved birds, he and Ann-Marie hung bunches of dried millet from the trees as bird-feeders.
Our warmest thanks also go to our generous sponsors, Auriens, who have reinvented the art of later living. With a fabulous location in the heart of London’s leafy Chelsea, Auriens provides its resident members with everything to ensure a healthy and interesting environment – we enjoyed meeting physio and nutritionist, part of the in-house Auriens team, trying out exclusive health elixirs, and getting our health reading for the day.
Coming to the stand to meet us were a wonderful array of famous faces – Judi Dench, comedian and actor Chris O’Dowd, English TV personality Tommy Walsh, English TV presenter Nikki Chapman, comedian Rufus Hound and many more!
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